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Charles Bridge is a pedestrian bridge across the Vltava River, connecting the Stare Mesto and Mala Strana districts in Prague. Today, the bridge is one of the most popular sights of Prague and its original symbol.
Charles Bridge is a unique piece of medieval art. Initially, the bridge was called Prague, but in 1870 it was renamed in honor of its founder. In length, the bridge reaches 520 meters, in width – 9.5 meters. Charles Bridge is decorated with 30 sculptures. The structure is supported by 16 arches.
The first bridge over the Vltava was the Judith Bridge, built in 1170. During the flood what happened in 1342, the bridge was partially destroyed.
Soon Charles the Fourth began construction of a new bridge, as a more modern bridge was required for public, construction and commercial lifting. The construction of the bridge began in 1357 and was completed by the beginning of the 15th century. The architect of the project was Peter Parler.
In 1380, an entrance bridge tower was built on the old town bank, which nowadays is one of the most beautiful medieval buildings in Prague. The tower is decorated with figurative plastic of a high artistic level.
On the second floor there are sculptures depicting Charles the Fourth, Wenceslas Fourth and St. Vitus – patron saint of the bridge. At the very top are the sculptures of St. Sigismund and St. Vojtech – patrons of the Czech land.
The western bridge towers were erected at different times. The lowest and most powerful tower was originally built in the Romanesque style, and in 1591 was rebuilt in the Renaissance style. The tallest tower was built during the reign of Jiri of Podebrady. The tower was built like a tower located at the other end of the bridge. During the reign of Wenceslaus IV, a gate was built between the towers.
During the Baroque period, the bridge was decorated with a unique gallery of sculptures created by the best masters of that time – Jan Brokoff, Ferdinand Maximilian, Matthias B. Brown and others. Most of the sculptures were installed in the years 1683-1714.
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Topic: Charles Bridge in the Czech Republic, Prague resort.